I am an Australian citizen and I wish to base myself in Amsterdam for four or five months. As an Australian I get to stay in the Schengen area for a cumulative 90 days in any 180 day period without a visa and the Netherlands does not allow me to apply for a holiday visa for more than 90 days. But I want to stay for longer than that. I have enough money to support myself and I do not intend to work.

Other than spending a cumulative month or two in England, Ireland or Bulgaria, is there any kind of visa I can get (from another Schengen country?) in order to extend my stay?

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    And what's wrong with spending ninety days in Britain? :-) The UK lets Australians stay six months without a visa. Commented Feb 28, 2012 at 14:39
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    Been there, done that, and it's expensive :-). It might end up being what I have to do anyhow. hippietrail, I meant if I want it to be 4-5 months from when I first arrive until I last leave, I'll have to spend 1-2 months out of Schengen in the middle. Commented Feb 28, 2012 at 14:58
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    I always admire people who can do basically nothing for 3+ months. I always get bored...
    – Karlson
    Commented Feb 28, 2012 at 15:21
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    @Karlson: By "nothing" do you mean "not working for the man"? People with imagination and sense of adventure are rarely bored (-; Commented Feb 28, 2012 at 16:09
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    Ankur: On what basis? I'm not employed by a Dutch company, I won't be studying at a recognised educational institution, I'm not a refugee, a victim of domestic violence, an entrepreneur with sufficient capital, I have no Dutch relatives and I only have a bachelor's degree, not a masters or doctorate. That seems to cover all the potential avenues :-( Commented Feb 29, 2012 at 13:22

3 Answers 3


The "Working Holiday Program/Working Holiday Scheme" allows Australians (as well as Canadians and New Zealanders) under 31 years to stay in the Netherlands for up to one year. While this allows you to work, it's not mandatory if you have other means.

This is basically the mirror image of similar programs in Australia, and the reason why the Dutch program is restricted to nationals of those countries.

  • This answer is correct but did not apply to my case as I am over 31 years old :). Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 23:34

I have studied in the Netherlands for the past year and have paid for a lot of legal advice on relocating there. YOU DO NOT NEED AN MVV AT ALL. You might need a residence permit depending upon how you proceed. Here are my suggestions:

  • Do you like Copenhagen? If you spend 90 days in Schengen and another 90 days in Denmark, you're in good shape. And, well, you don't need a huge amount of proof that you were actually in Denmark, you pretty much just need to be flying out from Copenhagen. See http://australien.um.dk/en/travel-and-residence/short-stay-visas/bilateral-visa-agreements/ for details, print out the law and bring it along with you to the airport. Basically how this would work in practice is that you need to book your flight out from Copenhagen and you need some way to prove you've been in Denmark for the period constituting a Schengen overstay. A train ticket receipt is fine, after all, who keeps their ticket stubs... ;)

  • The UK loophole works as well. Closer to the Netherlands. Someone else already pointed this out.

  • Working holiday is another loophole for some nationalities (including yours), that's good for 2 years. If you're not independently wealthy this is a good way to go; there are plenty of jobs in Holland for those who are reliable and actually want to work. Let's just say that the Aussie work ethic is rather attractive to most Dutch employers; treat a job as seriously as you would in Oz and you'll be fine.

  • If you fall into a number of skilled migrant categories the Dutch government really wants to attract skilled workers. The Dutch government operates a Web site explaining the details of these schemes here: http://www.newtoholland.nl/NewToHolland/app/en/home?init=true

  • Want to improve your education? Dutch universities are some of the best in Europe and the costs are very reasonable. Consider applying for a student visa.

If you want to pull the Aussie trick of just overstaying because "no worries, mate" and you don't want to leave from Copenhagen then I suggest you leave Europe from France. You won't escape Schiphol without a hefty fine and overstayer stamp in your passport (if you get this, it's the kiss of death for future hassle-free travel), but Charles de Gaulle might just wave you through. Enforcement is also fairly lax in Greece and Spain.

Finally, if you're planning to use the Denmark loophole and the police haul you in for drunk fighting in Amsterdam 120 days into a 90 day Schengen stay, you're going to have an awful lot of explaining to do. Mind your manners!

Good luck!

  • Lot's of ideas (+1) but I am not sure there is a UK loophole. Whereas you could possibly get away with staying illegally somewhere and crossing into Denmark just to catch a flight, which certainly sounds like a loophole, you cannot use the UK for that. The borders with the Schengen area are not open and you would get caught when trying to leave it (with all possible consequences: fine, ban from reentry for some years, perhaps even deportation from the UK since they have access to the Schengen Information System as well and might consider you as a potential overstayer).
    – Relaxed
    Commented Oct 27, 2013 at 9:42
  • @Relaxed is it not? Australians as visa-exempt and can stay in the UK for up to 6 months, which resets their Schengen clock after 90 days (as OP would be outside of Schengen). Ireland would probably also fit into this category as it's outside of Schengen and visa-free for Australians.
    – kiradotee
    Commented Jul 9, 2020 at 22:35
  • @kiradotee In that scenario, you would stay 90 days out of the Schengen area. That's not really a loophole or resetting anything, that's just how the rules are intended to work. By contrast, in the Denmark scenario, you would actually stay longer and use the lack the internal controls and the special agreement between Australia and Denmark to hide your stay in the Netherlands.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Jul 9, 2020 at 23:38

I found a link at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

I want to stay longer than 90 days (MVV procedure):

An MVV is needed by the nationals of all countries except the EU member states and a few other countries.

Australia is listed as one of this countries: Countries whose nationals do NOT require an MVV for a stay of more than 90 days

I would recommend to ask the embassy to be sure about this.

Another idea: Maybe you can attend a university and ask for a student visa.

But the Student visa wizard also confirms for Australia:

You do not need a visa to enter the Netherlands, neither for a short, nor for a long stay. All you need is a valid passport.

I found another interesting website http://english.ind.nl/residencewizard/ :

For holidays longer 3 month I found the information:

Holiday longer than 3 months

It is not possible to apply for a short stay visa for a period exceeding 3 months. If you wish to stay in the Netherlands for longer than 3 months, you must apply for a residence permit. In order to be eligible for a residence permit you need a purpose of residence other than holiday and you must meet the conditions of the purpose of residence you have stipulated.

Perhaps you find more informations there.

  • The way I read it, the MVV is a prerequisite for acquiring one of the other long-term stay visas (as a student, refugee, relative of a Dutch person, entrepreneur...) from which Australians are exempted. The exemption by itself doesn't actually mean I can stay longer than 90 out of 180 days. However I could be reading it wrong. Also, it's not really an option to go through the hassle and expense of applying for some accredited course just to blag my way into a student visa. Commented Mar 10, 2012 at 9:34
  • @RobertAtkins: I think you have to accept the reality that no country is going to allow you to stay indefinitely without good reason. :) Neither does Australia allow people to stay, for that matter! So what exactly is it that you want to hear? Commented Mar 10, 2012 at 19:40
  • The answer I don't want to hear may indeed by the correct one, unfortunately :(. But many countries do allow you to stay for more than six months for tourism purposes (I have a 5 year multi-entry B1/B2 visa for the States, for example.) Europe certainly allowed it ten years ago when I last travelled. And there could be a "back door" if I could get something similar to the B1 from Spain or something. Commented Mar 14, 2012 at 6:36

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